Is it permitted for women to wear rings from other than gold and silver? 

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Is it permitted for women to wear rings from other than gold and silver?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most merciful,

Shariah has not only permitted women to adorn themselves, rather they are encouraged to do so to a certain degree. Islam has given this special permission only to women in order that they use the various means of adornment and be a means of pleasure and satisfaction for their husbands.

Among the various means of adorning one’s self is the usage of jewellery and rings. Men have only been permitted to wear silver rings, and the idea is not to adorn yourself, rather the reason for this permissibility is to use silver rings for stamping and other purposes. This is the reason why, according to the Hanafi Ijtihad, it is preferable not to wear a ring for those that don’t need it (Radd al-Muhtar, 6/361).

Women are without a doubt allowed to wear rings made from gold and silver. However, to wear rings made from other substances such as metal, wood, etc…is impermissible, even for women.

The great Hanafi jurist, Allama Ibn Abidin (may Allah have mercy on him) says:

“It is unlawful (haram) to wear other than a silver ring (for men, m), because of what Imam Tahawi related with his chain of narrators to Sayyiduna Imran ibn Husain and Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with both of them) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade the wearing of gold rings. And it is narrated that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) wearing a ring made of brass. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “What is it that I smell the odour of idols from you, so he got rid of the ring. Then he came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) wearing a ring made of iron. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “What is it that I find on you the adornment of the people of hellfire”, so he got rid of it and said: “From what substance should my ring be, O Messenger of Allah?” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:  “Make it from silver that is less then one Mithqal”.

It becomes clear from the above narrations that to wear a ring that is made from gold, iron  and brass is Haram………. And to wear rings made from iron, brass, copper and lead is Makruh for both men and women”  (Radd al-Muhtar, 6/359, fasl fi al-libas).

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“It is Makruh to wear a ring that is made from iron, copper, brass and lead for men and women. As far as using carnelian is concerned, there is a difference of opinion between the Hanafi scholars. Some said: it is impermissible to wear a ring made from it, whilst others permitted it” (al-Fatwa al-Hindiyya, 5/335).

In light of the Hadith mentioned by Ibn Abidin which has also been recorded by Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan (4/470, no. 4220), the Fuqaha have stated that it is impermissible for women also to wear rings that are made from other substances such as copper, brass, metal, iron, etc…

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states in the explanation of the famous Hadith “Search for something, even if it is just a ring made from iron” (Sahih al-Bukhari):

“Some claim the permissibility of wearing a ring made of iron in view of this Hadith, but their claim is incorrect, because the permissibility of acquiring it does not necessitate the permissibility of wearing. It is possible that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) intended for it to be acquired so that the woman may benefit from its price” (Fath al-Bari, 10/397, kitab al-libas).

However, it should be remarked here that consideration is taken of the ring itself and not the stone, as mentioned in Durr al-Mukhtar (6/360).

Also, if the various types of rings are plated with gold or silver, then there is nothing wrong in wearing them. It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“There is nothing wrong in wearing a ring made of iron, but is plated with silver in a way that the iron is not visible” (5/335).

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK
www.daruliftaa.co.uk